BCP Council has extended their funding of free Beryl Bike use for NHS staff and key worker this week, confirming it will run until the end of June.
Since the BCP Council began funding the scheme, ensuring workers can to get to NHS-run and other workplaces deemed essential during the lockdown, 173,200 minutes have been gifted to users, alongside almost 1,000 free journeys to and from their 219 bays across the area.
Just some of the users so far have included paramedics, nurses, hospital porters, supermarket staff, homeless outreach workers, police officers, teachers social care workers, refuse operatives, and train guards.
The move has been made following significant demand for the bikes. Councillor Andy Hadley, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure for BCP Council, said: “I am delighted we have been able to continue to support key workers with extending the free use of Beryl Bikes.
“The take-up of this offer has been extraordinary and goes to prove how welcome the scheme is to those on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. It is hugely rewarding to be able to help them fulfil their essential roles in these challenging times, and great to see so many other people using bikes for sensible exercise whilst the roads are quiet.
“I would ask those who are driving vehicles for essential reasons to remember to give people on bikes enough space, especially as they pass pedestrians, cyclists may move out to try to give them more room.”
Co-founder and CEO of Beryl Bikes, Phillip Ellis is pleased to see the difference the scheme has made to workers across the BCP area: “This initiative has been rolled out across all of our schemes in the UK, and the BCP area has enjoyed an exceptional uptake. The support we have received from BCP Council has enabled us to make this free access so widely available to all key workers across Bournemouth and Poole.”
“As we get used to this new way of life we are afforded the opportunity to see how we can do things differently. This initiative reminds us that there are greener, cleaner and healthier ways to travel. As we slowly go back to our daily commutes and non-essential activities, we hope even more of Bournemouth and Poole will choose active and sustainable transport.”
In order to protect front-line and key workers during this time, Beryl Bikes, for whom safety is a core value, are asking anyone using their bikes to remember to wash their hands before and after use, stay at least 2 metres away from anyone else while cycling and to avoid riding in groups. To help fight against the spread of coronavirus, Beryl Bikes teams are equipped with antibacterial spray provided by Poole-based Muc-Off, to disinfect the bike as often as they can.
To access a bike as a key worker, download the Beryl Bikes app, and provide details of your key worker status. NHS workers can sign up for free access with a valid NHS email. For further information, visit the Beryl Bikes website.